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Author Topic: Bus leveling ? What methods?  (Read 2671 times)
scanzel
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« on: February 20, 2013, 07:50:42 AM »

Is there any Busnut's who has made a coach leveling system using solenoid air control valves using the existing air bags. Anyone have a print etc to share. My coach has 8 air bags and I would like to build a system using the air bags. Hydraulic is great but expensive. Grin Grin
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 08:05:29 AM »

Several on here have done this. Fred Hobe had a great link on it...but can't find it anywhere anymore  Undecided  Someone have that link? Also, I'm going to sound like a broken record, but using some sort of hydraulic jacks (even 20 ton harbor freight ones) will eliminate the coach bounce syndrome. Leveling on bags allows the coach to bounce when walking, jumping, running in place, or in-bus cage fighting.  Grin  That being said, with hydraulic jacks under our beast, she sits as solid as a stone...even in high winds.
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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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Lin
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 08:15:50 AM »

A couple of months back, we installed a system using cables to raise or lower the ride height (leveling) valves.  We have gone on some short trips and used it, but I am still not 100% sure it will hold up to extended use.  Bob G. has a similar system though that he has used for years.  One thing to remember though is that there is a limit of 4-5 inches of adjustment it will give you from back to front.  You would still have to use blocks on more of an incline.
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scanzel
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 08:18:56 AM »

Hydraulic is great but finding a place to mount them can be a challange. I think that mounting some latter just for stabilization, but not actually support the weight of the bus but just prevent bounce or movement.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
Lin
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 08:45:53 AM »

I am somewhat surprised by the concern that walking around in a 30k-40k bus causes so much bouncing.  It kind of reminds me of the story of the Princess and the Pea.  I guess that means that I am not royalty.
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jmblake
Jason & Martha Blake
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 09:08:04 AM »

Iam in the process of that right now. I just replaced my front air bags and added selonid valves so that when traveling it uses the factory leveling valves and when parked I can raise it up and down. So far the front works like a charm. I haven't got to the back ones yet but they shouldn't be any different. The way I did mine it takes 3 valves for the front and 6 for the rear. The 3 are hooked together in a way that 1=up,1=down, and 1=travel/park and when parked they need no power just when traveling. I will try and draw up a little diagram and post.
Jason
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 09:25:53 AM »

Pete Pappas used to sell an air leveling system but I haven't seen him on the board in a long time. As I recall his system used solenoid valves and still retained the height control valves for driving down the road. I don't know if he included any instructions with his kit but if he did maybe he or someone else will post the a link to them.

We had a leveling system on our 4106 that used 4 air ride seat valves but eliminated the height control valves. Every time I was ready to drive I had to bring the bus back to road height manually. That was a PIA but still better than no campground leveling.

Our MC8 has a leveling system, installed by the PO, made by Quality Coach, that uses 4 position rotary valves and retains the height control valves. The positions are: Auto (on road), Raise, Lower, and Hold. I don't think that system is available any longer, but probably could be replicated if you could find the valves, or use a combination of valves.

Good luck, Sam
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1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
gus
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 01:02:56 PM »

Lin,

Even my 4107 bounces a lot with bags full, I finally learned to lower the bags as much as possible overnight and that solved the problem. It also makes in/out easier.
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PD4107-152
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 01:05:07 PM »

Gumpy has an excellent article on his web site:  http://www.gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Mechanical/Leveling_System/leveling_system.htm

Good idea and great craftsmanship!

I plan to use his approach with one exception.  My bus has a "raise" air line with dash mounted manual control valve.  I'll plumb this into an air pilot valve which, when activated, will shut off air from the leveling valves and supply air to the manual electric solenoid raise/lower valves.  When you are traveling the leveling valves work normally and no solenoids are pulling power.  
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buswarrior
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 02:42:09 PM »

The Gumpy link:

http://www.gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Mechanical/Leveling_System/leveling_system.htm

Fred Hobe's and others' stuff:

http://www.pardo.net/bus-0035/article/users.cwnet.com/~thall/articles.htm

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 04:00:59 PM »

BW nothing on that second link seems to work or is it just me?

Dave5Cs
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buswarrior
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 04:49:23 PM »

I tried it, it clicks for me, but I'm the one who stuck it there.

I recall the address used to be shorter, I don't know...

Anyone else?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Don4107
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 05:10:41 PM »

Our 5B has a simple system.  Open the little door that was the access for the restroom fill.  Two three position valves, right and left. 

Position 1 = Normal over the road leveling operation.
Position 2 = Deflate (lower). 
Position 3 = Hold. 

Pretty simple.  Two valves and some tubing between the leveling valves and the air bellows. A couple spirit levels. Nothing electric. No gauges.  There is little to leak.  Holds real well. 

Only thing lacking is a fill position but this way you can't over inflate either. Could add easily.

Somewhere down the lists of things to do is one for the front end. Only real reason is to allow me to lower it for lower step height.

Don4107 now 5B
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
1975 MCI 5B
1966 GM PD 4107 for sale
1968 GMC Carpenter
robertglines1
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2013, 06:17:14 PM »

Steve: the Prevost system would be easy to duplicate and simplify. Would take about  5 ea 200 series norgren valves and 5 elect actuwaited selnoid valves.In limited use would last years.  Or just lie to anchor points of leveling valves and go from there(mechanical)  One is simple and one is expensive. At prevostcommunity  there is a complete layout of how the prevost level-low system works.  see articles.  Use those basic principles.  The built in delay in the leveling valves keeps them from loosing to much air because od movement inside coach. Now if you start running back and forth and jumping up and down--you get the idea. I keep my aux air set at 90# I have level -low now. Thinking abot going back to mechanical.  Low on list if you know what I mean.   Bob
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Emcemv
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2013, 07:37:24 PM »

The PO of my bus, Jack Morrisroe, was the owner of Quality Coach and designed and patented an automatic air leveling system. Our bus has the system and it works quite well, independent control of each air bag on the bus from the drivers seat.  I have not yet looked into my ability to share info on this.  I have a lot of the information but it is patented.
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Bruce & Nancy Fagley
1973 MCI MC-7 Combo Freighter
450HP DD 8V-92T 2000 Reman
HT 740 Allison
Woodbury CT.
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